Bust self tan myths with these quick tips


If you’re a busy parent, finding time to pencil in a professional spray tan before an important social event is highly unlikely. With warmer weather on the horizon and a host of social events on the calendar, we’ve debunked a bunch of self tan myths so you can DIY at home and step out and exude a healthy, faux glow – minimal fuss (or time) required.

Myth #1: All self tan products are created equally

No two tanning products are the same. Foams, creams, oils and sprays, there are plenty of options available. Find a formula you feel most comfortable using. Test a couple of different products out to see how they apply and look on the skin. If you’re new to the game, do some trial and error prior to reaching for the tan a couple of days pre-event. Top tip: foam is often considered the ‘easiest’ as the colour is visible upon application.

Myth #2: The longer you take to wash off your tan, the darker you will be

Self tan continues to develop on the skin once it is washed off, so stick to the recommended development period. If you’d like to exude a deep tan, rather than applying layers and layers of product and marinating in it, try something that is designed to give you an ultra-dark colour, like Bondi Sands’ Ultra Dark Tanning Foam.

Myth #3: There’s no right way to apply self tan

Wrong! For a believable looking tan, use long sweeping motions to eliminate streaks. Don’t forget to use a mitt, otherwise hands will stain as they tend to absorb colour much faster than other areas of the body, plus a mitt helps to distribute the product evenly.

Myth #4: Exfoliating beforehand can ruin your tan

Exfoliating is essential for avoiding a streaky tan as it helps create a smooth base for your tan to stick to. Self tan prep starts the day before, so make sure you’re giving yourself a good scrub, especially around the knees, elbows and ankles. Try Bondi Sands’ Coconut and Sea Salt Exfoliating Scrub.

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Myth #5: Tanning products smell and stain my sheets

Gone are the days of stinking out the office with your freshly applied tan! With products on the market like tanning oils and wash off tans (cue: Bondi Sands Liquid Gold or GLO Mist) that work instantaneously, you can leave the house with a luminous bronze glow that looks and smells au natural, no wash off required. Many tanning formulas are now quick-drying, which means little to no staining on your sheets or clothing too.

Myth #6: Self tan makes me look orange

Self tan products aren’t all universal in colour, so you need to find what works best for your skin tone – whether it’s a light, medium, dark or ultra-dark product. Green or violet based products generally work the best as they ensure a more natural looking tan than those with an orange/yellow base.  

Myth #7: You can’t get burnt when you have a tan

Total MYTH. SPF is so important, even when you have a base tan. Make sure to reapply throughout the day to avoid sun burn whether at the beach or a backyard BBQ. Opt for an SPF30 or SPF50+ sunscreen that provides optimal coverage from strong UVA and UVB rays.

Myth #8: I can’t go swimming with a tan

You can definitely swim with a tan – once it’s developed! Whilst chlorine and salt water speed up the fade of your self tan, they won’t remove it entirely. Have a gradual tanning moisturiser on hand to top up your tan and keep skin hydrated post swim.

Myth #9: Self tan is just for women

It might be more popular with the ladies but men can certainly enjoy a faux glow too. Dads we’re looking at you. Reach for the Bondi Sands’ Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam designed specifically for men.

Bondi Sands is available at Unichem, Life Pharmacy and Farmers.

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